Even though the book Animal Farm (by George Orwell, 1946) had been laying on the table for time immemorial, I never had the urge to pick it up until recently. I had listened to “Animals’ album by Pink Floyd (released, 1977) for countless times and knew that it was a conceptual album heavily inspired by Orwell’s Animal Farm. (It’s a great music, by the way.) Even then, I had never thought about reading the book yet.
Some say, better late than never. And, eventually, I read the book – on one sitting! And, it has been a great revelation… sort of Biblical revelation!
In a style of a fable, the book tells the story of the fall of the Tsar Autocracy and rise of Communism in Soviet Russia during the period of early to the mid 1990s. Orwell uses specific animals to represent the rulers, Communist leaders and the working class people – as pigs (wily, corrupt and tyrannical leaders), attack-dogs (brute force, military), sheep (general people – blind followers) and horses (the working class which rarely raises any question).
The book – in simple and fable-style, illustrates the story of the rise of the Socialism (as formulated by Karl Mark or Lenin), the seeming prosperity through struggle of working class people always aspiring for better future and then the acute failure of Socialism as the ruling class (Communist party leaders) becomes power-hungry, corrupted and despotic.
However, I find the book as not just a satire on the Communism and the Soviet Russia. It was/is a satire against all the despotic totalitarian regimes – communism or capitalism – with rigid institutional structure and class stratification of elite, rich and poor. And, ultimately, the book illustrates about how “power” always corrupts and how “greed” inevitably prevails any altruism (socialism, humanity, communism, anything).
With a little knowledge on the overall background of Soviet history under the rule of Communist party (which stared after October Revolution in 1917), the theme, characters, symbols (the Windmill, in particular) and plot of the book becomes starkly clearer. (Read the book, if you haven’t already!)
And … significantly relevant to the present day Nepal, now that we have Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) heading the government and professing their version of socialism.
You be the judge of what is going to happen here in Nepal – what you will be hearing, seeing, bearing and living through the coming two years (and probably more) of CPN Maoist’s governance in the “Federal Democratic Republic” of Nepal. Something always remains to be seen but we can assume of “harder” and “darker” days ahead with our own Nepali Napoleons, Snowballs and Squealers taking the reigns of the country’s future.
I hope I am wrong.